Mother’s Day can be a wonderful occasion to spend a little extra special time with your mom and let her know how much she means to you. Although it’s now largely celebrated with flower displays and jewelry sales, Mother’s Day had a humble beginning.

Following her mother’s death in 1905, a woman named Anna Jarvis began campaigning for Mother’s Day to be held on the second Sunday in May. She envisioned families spending the day together and honoring the many things mothers do on a daily basis. Mother’s Day was officially declared a national holiday in 1914, prompting greeting card, pastry and floral companies to jump on board in hopes of making extra profit from the new holiday — not exactly what Jarvis had in

While Mother’s Day can certainly be what Jarvis had hoped for — a day of families spending the day together and honoring their mothers, it can also be a difficult day for those who have lost a loved one. If this day is often difficult to get through, here’s something that may help:

1. Choose Gratitude

Mothers make the world go round. They hold things together each and every day. Be proud of what you’ve accomplished and who you have become, and know that she is partly to thank for your happiness and success. If you are able to say “thank you” to your mother, do so, every chance you get. Mother’s Day was designed to celebrate the special bond you have with your mother. If you aren’t able to do so in person, reflect on all of the things you’re thankful for and connect with the people in your life that you care about.

2. Honor Your Memories

If you’ve lost your mother, it doesn’t mean you lost the time that you spent together. Instead of focusing on your loss, spend Mother’s Day reminiscing on all of the great memories you have. Those memories have helped mold you and shape you into the person you are today. All of the things she taught you, the times she stood by you when others abandoned you, the fun adventures you went on, the times she wiped your tears — remember that she is still a big part of you in every album

3. Allow Yourself to Feel

If Mother’s Day is tough for you, don’t feel like you need to hold back your emotions. Let yourself feel what you’re feeling. Losing someone is extremely hard, and holidays have a way of reminding us of those we’ve lost. If you want to honor your mother’s memory, allow yourself to seek comfort in family and friends, and spend the day doing something she would’ve loved. Cook her favorite meal and indulge in her favorite dessert. Play board games, watch her favorite movie, and allow yourself to express your emotions, instead of letting them build up.

4. Give the Gift of Time

If you’re lucky enough to be able to spend the day with your mom, let her choose the day’s events. This is her day. Maybe she would rather stay home, talking and laughing over a glass of wine, than head out to a fancy dinner. Spending time with her is what matters. Let her know how thankful you are to have her in your life. If you’ve lost your mother, spend Mother’s Day with your grandma, your aunt, or one of the great moms in your life, and let them know that they’re doing an amazing job.

Many people have lost a parent. Listen to the stories below.

h/t: mind body green